U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler joined fellow GOP lawmakers in voting against a House resolution intended to stop President Donald Trump from further engaging in conflict with Iran without Congressional approval.
Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, voted against the measure that invokes the War Powers Resolution “to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran,” according to the resolution text. The vote passed 226-193 almost entirely along party lines Jan. 9.
The vote follows the decision by Trump to order the drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Jan. 3. The day before the vote, Iran fired missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq.
In a statement describing her reasons for voting against the resolution, Herrera Beutler said the attack was justified due to Soleimani’s involvement “for providing improvised explosive devices to our enemies to kill and maim over 600 American service members — leaving more Gold Star families to mourn their sons and daughters.”
“I would have expected any commander in chief, regardless of party, to take this strategic opportunity to rid the world of one of its most deadly terrorists,” Herrera Beutler’s statement read. “Given the current state of de-escalation, there is no need for us to now embolden Iran by holding a public show of division within our government.”
Herrera Beutler’s opponent in the 2020 election, Democrat Carolyn Long, released her own statement prior to the vote, urging the congresswoman to vote for the resolution. Long stated that although the U.S. needed to take action to protect military service members and the country’s citizens, she was “highly alarmed” at how the Trump administration was moving toward war with Iran.
“Our Constitution clearly requires the executive branch obtain approval from Congress before beginning an open conflict with a sovereign state, in part to prevent an administration from leading us into war under false pretenses or bad information,” Long stated. An approval of the resolution would uphold Constitutional requirements, “rather than bowing to party loyalty and falling in line with an administration whose recklessness risks making us less safe,” Long stated.